Ditch the crust and grab your favorite pizza toppings for the best Pizza Dip recipe that can be made with cottage cheese or cream cheese. This deliciously cheesy appetizer is perfect for game day, parties or any time you’re craving comfort food.
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When it comes to party appetizers or cozy nights in, pizza is always a crowd-pleaser. But what if you could enjoy all the flavors of pizza in a dip? If you’ve been on TikTok recently, you’ve probably seen that cottage cheese recipes are having a moment. And I am here for it! Enter: Cottage cheese pizza dip.
Unlike traditional pizza dip, this version features cottage cheese as the star of the show, providing a unique and tangy base. But have no fear, you can swap in cream cheese for a creamier twist on this easy appetizer.
Why cottage cheese? Cottage cheese may not be the first thing that comes to mind for a pizza dip, but it’s a game-changer. Here’s why it works so well:
- Creaminess: Cottage cheese adds a unique creaminess and tanginess to this easy appetizer dip, making it distinct from cream cheese-based recipes.
- Protein Power: It’s also a protein-packed option, making your dip a bit healthier.
- Customizable: Cottage cheese pairs perfectly with various toppings and seasonings, allowing you to personalize your dip.
Why You’ll Love It
- Not your average pizza dip recipe! The cottage cheese base adds a unique creamy texture that sets it apart from typical pizza dips.
- Make-ahead friendly. It can be assembled ahead and baked right before your guests arrive.
- Quick, easy and made with just 5 simple ingredients. You won’t need any pizza dough for this recipe, although it’s a fantastic option for dipping!
- You can get creative with your toppings! Sausage, mushrooms, olives and onions would all be delicious additions. Bottom line: If you’d put it on a pizza, you can put it in this dip!
- Great for parties. This recipe is simple to make (we’re talking just 10 minutes of prep time) and perfect for gamedays, impromptu gatherings or snack cravings.
- Cottage cheese or cream cheese: Cottage cheese brings a distinct tangy creaminess that sets this dip apart from others. Not a fan of cottage cheese? No problem! Swap in equal amounts of room-temperature cream cheese.
- Shredded mozzarella cheese: Mozzarella cheese adds a gooey, melty texture and a classic pizza flavor.
- Grated Parmesan cheese: For extra cheesy goodness and adds a salty, nutty flavor.
- Italian seasoning: If you don’t have an Italian seasoning blend, you can use individual dried herbs like oregano, basil, and thyme in equal proportions.
- Marinara sauce: Use homemade marinara sauce or your favorite store-bought brand.
- Pizza toppings of choice: The sky’s the limit here; use your favorite pizza toppings or whatever you have on hand! Just like my muffin pan pizza cups recipe, I loaded this dip with mini pepperoni. Other popular choices include bell peppers, olives, onions, mushrooms, sausage or even fresh basil. I used ¼ cup of mini pepperoni but feel free to add as many toppings as you’d prefer.
Kelly’s Note: Ingredients with high moisture content, such as mushrooms, should be pre-cooked to prevent them from making the dip watery.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Making this hot pizza dip is a breeze. The hardest part will be deciding if you’ll make it with a cottage cheese or cream cheese base. The cottage cheese version brings a tangy creaminess, while the cream cheese version offers an extra indulgent, rich texture.
- Preheat your oven: Start by preheating your oven to 375°F.
- Whip the cottage cheese. Add the cottage cheese (or cream cheese) to the bowl of a food processor and blend until creamy.
- Blend the base. Add the blended cottage cheese to a bowl then stir in ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and Italian seasonings.
- Layer it up. Spread the cheese mixture on the bottom of a 9-inch skillet or ovenproof baking dish.
- Sauce it. Spread the marinara on top of the cheese mixture then top it with the remaining shredded mozzarella cheese and your toppings of choice.
- Bake and serve. Bake the dip until the cheese is melted,10 to 12 minutes, then switch the oven to “broil” and broil until the cheese turns golden brown, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately with toasts or veggies for dipping.
Pro Tip: Pizza dip can be prepared in a cast iron skillet, a glass or ceramic baking dish or even mini ramekins for individual servings. Choose what suits your style and occasion. Just make sure your dish is oven-safe and can hold the amount of dip you plan to make.
- Baking Dish Flexibility: You can make this recipe in one large baking dish or in individual baking dishes.
- Gluten-Free: This dip is naturally gluten-free (just make sure to buy certified gluten-free products to ensure there hasn’t been any cross-contamination during manufacturing). Serve with gluten-free bread or crackers as dippers.
- Spice It Up: Add red pepper flakes, hot sauce or diced jalapeños for a spicy kick.
- Make-Ahead Option: While the dip is best when freshly baked, you can prepare the components (cottage cheese mixture, sautéed toppings) in advance and assemble just before baking for a quicker turnaround on the day you plan to serve it.
- Serve Hot: Pizza dip is best enjoyed hot out of the oven. It’s at its peak of cheesy deliciousness when served immediately.
Here’s the scoop on what to serve alongside your cheesy, creamy creation:
- Toasts or breadsticks: Classic and crunchy, toasts or breadsticks are perfect for scooping and provide a sturdy base that won’t get soggy.
- Fresh veggies: Carrot sticks, celery or bell pepper strips add a healthy and refreshing touch.
- Crackers: Crackers of your choice are always a hit.
- Pretzel bites: If you’re feeling a little indulgent, pretzel bites provide a salty, doughy contrast that pairs beautifully with the creamy dip.
Frequently Asked Questions
You have endless topping possibilities! Classic options include pepperoni, bell peppers, onions, olives, mushrooms and sausage. But feel free to get creative with your favorites.
Absolutely! To make it gluten-free, serve the dip with gluten-free toasts, breadsticks or crackers. Also, double-check the ingredients of your marinara sauce to ensure it’s gluten-free.
Reheat leftovers in the microwave in short intervals, stirring in between, or in a preheated oven until it’s hot and bubbly again.
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- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- Pizza toppings of choice
- Toasts or veggies, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Add the cottage cheese to the bowl of a food processor and blend until creamy.
- Add the blended cottage cheese to a bowl then stir in ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and Italian seasonings.
- Spread the cottage cheese on the bottom of a 9-inch skillet or ovenproof baking dish.
- Spread the marinara on top of the cottage cheese mixture then top it with the remaining 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese and your pizza toppings of choice.
- Bake the dip until the cheese is melted,10 to 12 minutes, then switch the oven to “broil” and broil until the cheese turns golden brown, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately with toasts or veggies for dipping.
- You don’t have to blend the cottage cheese, but I prefer the smoother texture and find it’s better for dipping.
- You can make this recipe in one large baking dish or in individual baking dishes.
- While the dip is best when freshly baked, you can prepare the components in advance and assemble just before baking for a quicker turnaround on the day you plan to serve it.
- Pizza dip is best enjoyed hot out of the oven. It’s at its peak of cheesy deliciousness when served immediately.
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